Sony to cull smartphones and TVs – aims to profit from PlayStations and cameras

26 Nov 2014

Sony's Xperia line-up of smartphones and tablet computers

Japanese technology giant Sony plans to reduce its focus on mobile devices and TVs as losses mount. Instead it aims to profit from high-end devices and its burgeoning PlayStation 4 and image sensor businesses.

For Sony, smartphones aren’t cutting it and its Xperia brand of devices has impacted earnings.

The company announced yesterday that mobile phones are dragging down Sony’s financial performance and the company is taking a different approach to smartphones that will see it make fewer models, focus on high-end devices such as the Xperia Z3, and sell parts to other device makers.

While the Xperia brand has been well received by critics, it hasn’t made an impressive impact on Sony’s balance sheet.

The strategy instead is for a smaller but more profitable smartphone division.

“We’re not aiming for size or market share but better profits,” Sony’s mobile chief Hiroki Totoki said.

Sony’s three-year plan for profitability

Under a new three-year business plan, Sony is planning to boost revenues at its PlayStation business by 25pc to US$13.6bn.

Within its devices business, the company’s image sensor business could also grow revenues to around US$13bn.

In effect, Sony has somewhat conceded defeat to Apple and Samsung in the smartphone market, while at the same time keeping a foothold in the high-end devices space.

But all is not well in the smartphone business. While Apple is enjoying the fruits of its labours with sales of iPhones contributing to a record US$700bn market cap, Samsung is believed to undergo a management shake-up after smartphone revenues plunged 40pc this year, caused by an unpopular Galaxy S5 smartphone.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years